Factually wrong, probably deliberately misleading. The most idiotic article I've read on the subject:
Tax breaks given on gas-guzzling SUVs
FEB. 18 9:17 P.M. ET New tax breaks are available to anyone who wants to help the environment by purchasing fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. But if owners of small businesses really want to save money, they can get even bigger federal tax breaks by buying the largest gas-guzzling SUVs.
The disparity is drawing criticism from environmentalists and the Republican chairman of the Senate's tax-writing committee, who is working on a change. Dealers and owners who have benefited from the SUV tax incentive say it helps spur a key part of the economy -- auto-making -- and allows small business owners to purchase vehicles that improve their bottom line.
Utter and complete bullshit. Besides, it's not like we're talking about material differences in public companies here - we're talking about tax effects on small businesses. The statement above implies that a business somehow profits from this law. Maybe the first year when you take the Section 179 amount, but you make up for it in following years by having a smaller deduction.
Federal tax rules that took effect last month allow a credit of up to $3,150 for anyone buying a hybrid car. The credit is the same regardless of tax bracket.
Yes - a CREDIT.
However, owners of small businesses who buy a Hummer, Ford Excursion or other SUV weighing more than 3 tons get a deduction of up to $25,000 -- depending on tax bracket -- if they use the vehicle exclusively for work.
A DEDUCTION is different, and applies to BOTH vehicles. Deliberately misleading.
The benefits don't stop there. Once they subtract the $25,000 from the cost of their 3-ton SUV, small business owners can deduct the depreciation on the remaining amount. Someone who bought a $60,000 SUV, for example, can claim the remaining $35,000 over six years.
As with any capital asset. Dumbfuck. Including your precious hybrid.
No such luck for small business owners who buy cars weighing less than 3 tons. No matter how much the vehicles cost, they can claim just $15,535 in depreciation over six years and $1,675 each additional year. Deductions for depreciation on trucks and vans weighing less than 3 tons are slightly more generous.
Front-loaded, not "more generous". At least it's partly correct, from a literal standpoint. Still misleading. Various assets are assigned different depreciation schedules by the IRS, from computer software to bulldozers.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is working on a bill that would level the playing field between SUVs and hybrids.
"It's inconsistent for the tax code to encourage business people to buy heavy SUVs and not alternative vehicles," said Grassley, whose committee has oversight of tax legislation. "As consumer demand for alternative energy products increases, it's important for the tax code to be consistent."
A Grassley aide declined to describe the legislation in detail, saying more information will be released in coming weeks.
Dan Becker, head of the Sierra Club's global warming program, said the SUV tax break flies in the face of President Bush's State of the Union call for less reliance on oil.
"The president is right that we're addicted to oil, so we should break the addiction by urging Americans to buy hybrids, not Hummers," Becker said.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers declined to comment beyond saying the group is satisfied with current tax policy.
Nashville real estate agent Cindy Jasper said the deduction has boosted her small business. She uses two Hummer H2s to take clients to rugged farm and equestrian properties -- and the vehicles also help grab customers' attention.
"It's just such a great marketing vehicle," she said. "You have to do something to be a little bit different."
The tax breaks for large SUVs are rooted in long-standing deductions for small business purchases, including trucks and vans for farmers, contractors and others who need heavy vehicles.
At least they got this one right.
Trying to jump-start the economy after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress increased the deduction for small businesses from $25,000 to $100,000 for 2003 and most of 2004. However, lawyers, doctors and others also took advantage of the measure.
Treasury Secretary John Snow wrote in a 2004 letter that the Bush administration favored the deduction's "complete elimination" except when there was a legitimate business need for a large SUV. That same year, Congress reduced the deduction to $25,000.
The IRS does not keep statistics on the number of people who took the SUV deduction, spokeswoman Nora Butler said.